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Sri Lanka find stomach for fight before Ben Stokes intervenes

Lunch Sri Lanka 139 for 4 (from Silva 57 *, Mathews 2 *) road England 285 (Curran 64, Buttler 63, Dilruwan 4-61) for 146 races [19659003] Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

In the toughest conditions seen in the series so far, the Sri Lankan hitters did something on the second morning of this Test they did not have in Galle: they fought.

But then England fought back. Ben Stokes made two layoffs, both from positions in the field, reversing the gains that Sri Lanka had achieved during the third place of 96 races between Dimuth Karunaratne and Dhananjaya de Silva.

Having lost three terrains in the session, two of those in the last 20 minutes of play, Sri Lanka’s position in the match remained precarious: there were 146 runs behind, with six windows in hand, and their specialist bad inclination Karunaratne returned to the pavilion. England, which took three windows in the session, played like a side sniffing blood in recent years. Jack Leach lick his lips during lunch, after having reached beautiful distances along his morning spell, claiming the wicket of Kusal Mendis as a reward. He has two righties in the bowl when the game resumes.

Before the Stokes interventions, which produced Karunaratne’s exhaustion, for 63, and an amazing capture of reflections in the glide, jumping to his left to hold the Random of Mendis’s bat, Sri Lanka seemed to be marching towards a place of security. The progress of Karunaratne and Silva was not pretty. The spitting balls routinely came out from the outer edges, the pads were banged, the stumps were practically shaved, the appeals were raised and a review of the DRS was taken, but what mattered was the score, and both advanced to half a century in the type of surface where fifty is worth one hundred.

Karunaratne was the hardest of the two, survived the difficult first 15 minutes, fighting particularly against the bowling of Moeen Ali, who found his advantage, although the chances were not for the tall fielders. . Even when Karunaratne began to adapt to a rhythm, Leach did a reverse sweep with good results, and finding wide singles on the side of his leg, there was a feeling that an error could soon occur. However, twice he was measured between Leach and his short leg: he hit one in the boot of Keaton Jennings on the 21st, then on his shin the 39.

De Silva, however, struck perhaps as calmly as anyone could do it in these circumstances. His fluid impulses and his slip to the third man were a joy, as always, and, unlike Karunaratne, he was sure to be severe with the bad balls that England sent him. There were two funny four on the floor when Moeen had superimposed and, at the end of the session, he smoked two directed Stokes jumpers through midwicket, and then halfway. De Silva finished the session with 58, not out.

He took a piece of a truly exceptional field to evict them. De Silva called Karunaratne for a simple single to the point, only for Stokes to sweep, turn and throw the stump. He had to aim, everything in a fluid movement. Karunaratne was six inches short. The dismissal of Mendis’s Leach then propelled England further. At the beginning of the session, night watchman Malinda Pushpakumara hired Moeen to midwicket, to give visitors a breakthrough on the third day of the day.

source:- espncricinfo.com

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